BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Wednesday with three astronauts making the country’s first permanent space station their home for the next three months. They called their mission an essential milestone in China’s space industry. Former air force pilots Nie Haisheng, Liu Boxing, and Tang Hongbo arrived at the space station last week. They will carry out scientific experiments and space walks.
Prepare the station for receiving two additional modules next year. Xi asked after their health and living situation aboard the station. The astronauts, standing ramrod straight in a row, answered in the affirmative. “We “‘re all thrilled to see you are in good shape and the work is going well,” Xi,” said, speaking from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center. “The “building of the space station is an essential milestone in ChinChina’sce industry, and it will make a pioneering contribution to the peaceful use of space by mankind.
We “n” Beijing await your triumphant return,” he a “ded.
The three gave a military salute before waving goodbye. Nie, Liu, and Tang are carrying out China’China’sst crewed space missions by far. Three more crewed missions to the station are planned. The space statiostation’smodule, named “Tianh”” or H “avenly Harmony, was launched into orbit on April 29. A cargo spacecraft delivered fuel, food, and equipment to the station last month in preparation for the crew’s arrival. The space agency plans 11 launches through the end of next year to add two laboratory modules to expand the 70-ton station, along with supplies and crew members. The current mission is the third of the 11 launches. This story has been corrected to say that Tianhe is the name of the space station’s core module, not the overall station.